The TPG result is out. It’s not a fantastic result, but nor is it as bad as the market seems to think.
Firstly, mobile subscribers continued to decline. Undoubtedly, a negative that the market is focused on. Broadband subscribers grew, which is, well, required.
However, the net new subscribers data is illustrative. In 2020, just as the TPG/Vodafone merger closed, so to did the Australian borders, which greatly affected the normal influx of tourists which the internationally recognised Vodafone brand disproportionately represents.
That impact has lessened, over time, and the data to January (according to the TPG presentation) has turned positive.
So we’ve got good reason to think the outlook for mobile subscribers will improve.
The Average Revenue Per User data is also a source of modest positivity. Today’s release suggests that mobile post paid is now sitting at $39.1 (e.g. fractionally improved) and pre-paid at $19.2. In other words, not worse, and slightly better.
Operating cash flows were strong, and sufficient to cover capex and the dividends. Things go terribly wrong when you have a bad balance sheet, weak cashflows, and negative earnings trends. None of that, in our view, is on offer here.
Looking forward, we’ve got the positive near term catalyst of the passive mobile telecom infrastructure asset sale, and we have the revenue/opex synergies associated with the infrastructure swap with TLS.
Overall, we are relaxed on the result, and view it as much better than the market seems to. We are perhaps not delightedly happy holders, but holders nonetheless.
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